While many businesses engage with the annual shopping holiday without a second thought, there is good reason to reconsider and reimagine whether Black Friday and the subsequent Cyber Monday are worth participating in.
The experts at Somebody Digital have weighed in on some things your brand should think about before jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon
1. Consider your brand
“A lot of shoppers have negative experiences on Black Friday: queues are long, deliveries are slow and websites crash,” notes Stephanie Walters, Senior Digital Strategist at Somebody Digital. “Often this bad PR can do more damage to your brand than any profit you may make on the day.”
The question is: does participating in Black Friday match your brand values, particularly if you find yourself in the B2B space?
Many global brands have chosen to opt out of Black Friday altogether, such as American outdoor brand REI, which shuts its doors and gives employees the day off with full pay. Or makeup brand Deciem which offers a month-long 23% discount via its website (except on Black Friday) and drives its Knowvember campaign to generate awareness around overconsumption and its impact on the planet.
Such initiatives are examples of how a brand can still use Black Friday hype to advantageous ends.
2. Are you actually hurting sales?
Co-Founder of Somebody Digital, Tobias la Cour notes that “For a lot of brands, Black Friday doesn’t necessarily increase revenue. What it does do is take the annual Christmas peak and bring it forward, resulting in a cannibalisation of sales.”
Instead of driving massive sales once a year, an important brand strategy is building consistent year-long customer loyalty. Studies show that retaining customers is far cheaper than obtaining new ones, and Black Friday can often accidentally reward low-value customers, ignoring or punishing high-value customers that support your brand throughout the year.
3. Use Black Friday to build your brand
Black Friday is going to happen, whether you choose to participate in it or not. Either way, it presents an opportunity, be that for sales, brand building, or for both.
“Some things are too good to discount,” notes Walters. This kind of messaging can be used to attract and retain higher-value customers, and to espouse brand values during this shopping season.
What we think
If you choose to participate in Black Friday, do it with intention and a specific brand goal in mind. Whether that’s building awareness about your business and what it does or offering specific clients specific savings over this time.
Secondly, support any Black Friday activity with a sustainable and data-driven year-round strategy that encourages business growth through nurturing customer relationships.